File photo: Phill Magakoe

Reverend Gift Moerane looks set to become the new mayor of Emfuleni after the Gauteng ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) announced him as the preferred mayoral candidate for the troubled municipality. 

This announcement comes a month after the resignation of Jacob Khawe, who serves as ANC Gauteng provincial secretary.

The party in a statement said it had on Wednesday met with the structures of the democratic movement in the Sedibeng region - ANC branches, the ANC Emfuleni Caucus, ANCWL, ANCYL, MK Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA), Cosatu, Sanco, SACP and leaders of faith-based organisations - to brief them on the appointment.

"Today, Thursday January 31, 2019, Emfuleni will convene a council meeting to, among other things, elect a new mayor following the resignation of Khawe.

"The PEC's decision to appoint Rev. Moerane as its mayoral candidate has received overwhelming support and unanimous approval from all the structures of the ANC, the Leagues, the Alliance partners as well as the religious leaders and the broader communities of Sedibeng."

The party hailed Moerane as a man of the people with "impeccable integrity and unquestionable credentials in the democratic strategies of the people of the Vaal". 

"He was there during the difficult and dark days of apartheid, always on the side of the people. He remains on the side of the people today."

Moerane is currently serving as Gauteng provincial secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) and provincial chaplain of the ANC. 

Speaking on Moerane's selection was ANC Gauteng provincial chairperson David Makhura, who said: “It is critical that we bring someone who resonates well with society and will be able to work well with multiple stakeholders to change the face of communities in Emfuleni. 

"Communities are crying out for good leadership. Rev Moerane is the man best suited for the demands of this moment. This is part of the broad intervention we are making to ultimately restore financial stability, good governance and service delivery.”

This announcement comes as the region grapples with leadership battles following the disbandment of the regional executive committee of Sedibeng last year.

EWN earlier reported that there was also anger over the appointment of Moerane. Party members claim that he’s no longer an active member of the ANC.

Earlier this week, police confirmed they were investigating a case of arson after the party's Sedibeng regional offices burnt down.